How to Measure Shared Fault in a Car Accident

When you’re injured in a car accident, the costs associated with your injuries can be exorbitant. Medical treatment and missed work combined with the emotional trauma from the accident and the pain of your injuries can lead to you incur thousands of dollars in expenses. If someone else caused the car accident, it’s your right to pursue compensation for your injuries.

Depending on the losses from your accident-related injuries, you could be entitled to receive thousands of dollars in compensation. The total amount of damages, the legal term for compensation, you may receive can be affected by any fault you may share for causing the car accident.

What Is Shared Fault?

Fault is shared between two drivers involved in a car accident when each motorist’s actions played a part in causing the accident. For example, driver A is ahead of driver B. Driver A fails to use their turn signal before making a right turn, and driver B is driving above the posted speed limit, and as a result of both of their actions, they collide. Both driver A and driver B share fault for the car accident.

Contributory vs. Comparative Fault

There are three types of fault in the United States for auto accidents, and not all states have the same type.

Pure contributory negligence laws state that if you contributed in any way to the cause of the car accident, you can’t recover any compensation for your losses. Even if you were only one percent responsible, you’re barred from obtaining compensation for your injuries.

The comparative negligence approach to determining damages is to reduce the injured party’s compensation by the same percentage of their shared fault for the car accident. So if you were 30 percent responsible for the car accident, the maximum compensation you could be entitled to receive would be reduced by 30 percent. But under pure comparative negligence laws, no matter the percentage of your fault, you could still receive compensation for your injuries.

Under modified comparative negligence laws, the same is true but only up to a certain maximum percentage of shared fault. States that have modified comparative negligence laws will either set the cap for an injured party’s percentage of fault at 50 percent or 51 percent. This means that if you were injured in a car accident in a state with a 50 percent comparative negligence law, then you can recover compensation that’s reduced in proportion to your fault, but you’re barred from recovering compensation if you were 50 percent or more at fault for the accident. If the state has a 51 percent comparative negligence law, you’re barred from recovering compensation if you were 51 percent or more at fault for the accident.

Shared Fault in Florida

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. If you’re injured in a car accident in Florida, you can pursue compensation for your injuries and may still be entitled to receive compensation even if you were partly responsible for the accident. Whether you were one percent or 99 percent responsible, you may still be able to recover compensation. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault for the car accident and were entitled to $100,000 in compensation, your compensation would be reduced by 20 percent. So, you would receive $80,000. Alternatively, if you were 99 percent responsible for the car accident and were entitled to $100,000 in compensation, your compensation would be reduced by 99 percent to $1,000.

How to Measure Shared Fault

When you decide to pursue compensation for your car accident injuries, you should first hire an attorney. An attorney from Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. will work for you to build a strong claim and represent your interests. Your attorney will conduct an investigation into the car accident to determine who is liable for the accident. When you file your personal injury claim with your insurance company, the insurance company will conduct an investigation into the accident as well.

We’ll also look to determine what, if any, fault you may have had for the accident. We’ll weigh any fault you had in the accident against the fault of the other driver to try to determine which driver was more responsible for the accident.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.

If another motorist caused a collision in which you suffered serious injuries, you can seek to obtain compensation for your losses. Our Florida car accident attorneys have helped people who were injured in car accidents obtain significant compensation for their injuries. You don’t have to pay us any upfront fees for representation. Call us today at 561.689.8180 to schedule a free consultation.

Last Updated : May 2, 2022

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